Blackburn Rovers - Rovers Outplay Gunners at the Fortress
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Blackburn 2 - Arsenal 1


Attendance: Ewood Park

Rovers Outplay Gunners at the Fortress

A sensational fight back led by the man who bleeds blue and white, David Dunn, ensured Rovers surged into the top half of the Premier League table. After conceding early to Robin Van Persie, David Dunn and Chris Samba slotted the goals to provide Blackburn yet another valuable 3 points at Fortress Ewood.

Blackburn made 4 changes to the team that faced Wolverhampton, David Dunn, Vince Grella, Keith Andrews and Chris Samba coming in at the expense of Steve Nzonzi, El Hadji Diouf, Nikola Kalinic and Phil Jones.

With only the finalisation of positions to play for, you could forgive both teams for just going through the motions. However, neither outfit showed just that. Arsenal were off to the brighter of starts. Theo Walcott looped around Ryan Nelsen, leaving Paul Robinson stranded in no man's land. Walcott cut the ball to Vela who had the simplest of finishes, however, he dragged his effort wide. Arsenal continued to maintain the pressure, moving the ball across the pitch in the style that Arsene Wenger demands.

Arsenal did get their due rewards in the 15th minute. Samir Nasri's corner, directed to the near post, was flicked on by Bacary Sagna to an unmarked Robin Van Persie, who made no mistake, heading the ball into the back of the net, 1-0 Arsenal.

With Arsenal continuing to dominate possesion, it was a matter of counter attack football for Blackburn, and whether they would make the most of their chance. Arsenal maintained the pressure, with Van Persie's 25 yard free kick well saved by Robinson, whilst Vela and Nasri dragged their attempts wide.

Jason Roberts proved to be a menace up front in typical fashion, holding up the ball with 2-3 markers on him. Rovers started to turn the tide, with David Dunn making his mark on the pitch, distributing as needed, whilst Vince Grella, making some crunching tackles, and collecting a yellow card for obstruction.

As the game headed for the break, Blackburn managed to snare an equaliser. A Morten Gamst Pedersen corner found Ryan Nelsen in the box. He set up Andrews on his right, who drilled the ball towards goal. Jason Roberts attempted to flick the ball goal wards, however his attempt of a shot managed to set David Dunn up, leaving the local lad to pass the ball into the back of the net, 1-1 Half Time.

No Changes at the break

The second half began in slow fashion, with neither side able to create an opportunity. Arsenal continued to pass the ball around in midfield, but Rovers were shutting every attempt to create a opportunity. 53 minutes in, Morten Gamst should have put Rovers infront. David Dunn picked out Keith Andrews, who, thinking he had Kaka's boots on, put the most delicate of through balls into the path of Gamst Pedersen. One on one with Fabianski, Gamst's failed attempt of a finish was parried by the keeper. As Gamst chased onto the rebound, he was brought down by Sol Campbell, however the referee waved play on and signalled for a corner.

Sam Allardyce decided to make an attacking change, taking of Vince Grella (non injury related substitution) and bringing on Junior Hoillet. The young Canadian almost made an immediate impact. David Dunn surged up field, setting up Hoillet, who struck on the counter, but Fabianski was up to the task, parrying over for a corner.

Jason Roberts had the next chance for Rovers, but, after suddenly remembering his strike rate, he opted for the greater percentage play. After bringing down a long ball into the box, Roberts cut back inside his man, leaving him with a 15 yard shot on goal. In his wisdom, JR cut the ball back to Keith Andrews, who also was gun shy, stepping over the ball for the unaware David Dunn. The ball rolled past Dunn, with all 3 players standing looking at one another...Pull the trigger JR!

Rovers were unlucky not to have the lead only minutes later. Martin Olsson was incorrectly ruled offside after a over the top through ball by Dunn. Olsson buried it in the back of the net, but play was brought back. However, Rovers did not have to wait long.

After several fumbles and mistimed clearances by Fabianski, it was the high ball which proved his downfall once again. Gamst Pedersen lobbed in a corner, Fabianski was nowhere near the ball as Chris Samba headed in from 1.4 yards out, the Ewood faithful erupting, as the boys in the blue and white halves celebrated. 2-1 Blackburn.

Phil Jones came on for Dunn to close of the game, Arsenal left with very little to create.

And so Rovers notched up another 3 points at Fortress Ewood, jumping into 10th spot, and Sam ALlardyce, once again, was sure to make his mark and infuriate dear friend, Arsene Wenger....

Star Player

Jason Roberts-

Ok, we do give the lad heaps of slack, but he worked his socks off, made the corners for our goal and was a persistent pest up front. The difference between Jason Roberts doing that and Nikola Kalinic/Franco Di Santo, is we dont expect Roberts to score goals, we know he cant, so just work your arse off and set up Dunn and we are all happy

Player Ratings

Paul Robinson 6

Would be dissapointed conceding from the set piece, a few solid saves and good distribution as always

Ryan Nelsen 7.5

The Admiral was solid, holding up Carlos Vela and Van Persie, a few vital interventions as needed

Chris Samba 8

First to every header, first to every tackle, and first to the goal! Another good effort from the big man

Gael Givet 7

Was left hanging to dry for the first goal. Really misread the situation and would be very dissapointed. Made up for it by shutting down Theo Walcott, forcing him wide or to the byline on every occasion

Michel Salgado 7.5

The veteran used all his wits to make up for a lack of pace, giving the likes of Nasri, Van Persie and Arshavin little or no room to move on their left edge. Worked hard, fortunate not to give a penalty

Keith Andrews 7

Actually played some decent football! Still dont know how he got that through ball for Gamst in, but well in!

Vince Grella 7

A few good crunching tackles, did what he had to do, a sloppy pass or 2, but he got Robin Van Persie on the noggin which is always good in my books :D

Morten Gamst Pedersen 7

Some fantastic deliveries, tracked well in defence, but boy he knows how to miss a sitter. Really should of buried his opportunity, but only managed to strike direct at Fabianski

Martin Olsson 7.5

His threatening self. A real revelation. Should not have been called offside, played well, distributed well and worked hard in defence.

David Dunn 9

They didnt show Capello in the stands, but boy I hope he was there watching, or atleast had his men watching. Whilst they might of been looking at Walcott and Campbell, im sure David Dunn's stellar performance did his outside chances little harm. David Dunn is BLue and White, Blue and White, Blue and White, David Dunn is BLue and White, and he hatess Burnley!!.....

Jason Roberts 9

Worked his socks of. Cant complain with the effort, should of taken a shot though!!!

Junior Hoillet

A fresh spark. Blasted his effort way too high, but should glimpses of what he can do

Phil Jones

No time to impress

Manager Rating

Got it spot on for me. Hit Arsenal at their weakness, put the pressure on by taking of Vince Grella for Hoillet, and got due rewards. Was not to sure about Jones coming on for Dunn, left a big hole in midfield, but, we got the win! Well Done

Opponent Rating

Blah Blah Blah. Blackburn were physical. Blackburn targeted Fabianski....well no S##T. How about next time we just roll over and you can have the 3 points....Shove it Wenger!

The Final Word

Very Impressive on all accounts. The lads could of just rolled over and went on holiday, but, they gave the Faithful their due rewards, however reminding us of the season that could of been. The crowd was vocal, and hopefully sets the platform for bigger crowds next season

The Journalist

Writer: Sasman! Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday May 4 2010

Time: 12:42AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Well done lads, impressive, very very impressive!
Report Abuse
04/05/2010 00:45:00

Congrats on the win. I won't begrudge you the three points as I thought you deserved it more than Arsenal. That being said, the Samba goal should've been disallowed. Believe me. I'm no fan of Wenger, but he's 100% correct on this occasion. Making it difficult for the keeper to get to the ball by maintaining your position is one thing, but purposely pushing another player into the keeper to prevent him from getting to a ball is a foul. I don't like to see keepers over-protected, and Fabianski doesn't command his area very well, but Dunn clearly intended to push Campbell into Fabianski to impede the keeper.
Report Abuse
04/05/2010 04:46:00

Agree with Teddy. The second goal was a clear foul.
Report Abuse
04/05/2010 05:19:00

Great victory guys - all bodes well for next season.
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04/05/2010 05:21:00

fair call there teddy, id say it was 50-50, we got the call, so will take it! Olsson, clearly wasnt offside when he was sent through and finished, same for Gamst, though he lobbed it over the goals!! agree on keepers being over protected, so when they get one against them, really makes em look like fools!! Arsenal really do need a decent goal keeper, stump up some cash and sign Hugo Llloris....
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04/05/2010 05:37:00

Fantastic news!! Am absolutely thrilled at the win! Only wish i could of been there! Can't stand Wenger or Van Persie!! Plus i won some coin too! I knew they could do it! Go the blue and whites!!
Report Abuse
04/05/2010 07:42:00

Great stuff from the boys and a thoroughly deserved victory. You can moan all you want about "unprotected keepers" but that sad story is that bar the goal and that shocking miss in the first half... Arsenal got nothing and were outplayed and outfought by Rovers. The right team won.
Mikey Delap
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04/05/2010 08:15:00

These remarks by wenger, sky jounalists etc. take the attention away from a good rovers performance. Aside from the fact that Arsenal didn't look like scoring an equaliser; they committed loads of fouls; and they were brushed off easily - i.e. we didn't let them play. Big Sam got it spot on - if there is a weak player you exploit that! Further more, the keeper had loads of protection - even when he was just falling over his own players, he was given loads of decisions in his advantage. Also, Dunn pushing Campbell into Fabianski - do me a favour, Sol campbell must weigh 18 stone, if he stood his ground Dunn would have bounced off him! Lets be honest now - we played well, and Arsenal have been playing badly for ages now - one win in eight is relegation form! Also, this season we've taken more points off the top 4 teams than Arsenal have. Finally... if you ask any mentally stable arsenal fan, they will tell you that they need to buy a good goalkeeper!
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04/05/2010 08:27:00

From an Arsenal goalkeeper point of view - if that was Jens Lehmann, he would have pushed everyone away and made sure that situation didnt happen. The fault, even though the Arsenal fans wont admit it, lies closer to home...
Mikey Delap
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04/05/2010 08:38:00

sounds like sour grapes to me, all mention of sambas goal, no talk of olssons. we played well and sam got the tactics spot on.
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04/05/2010 11:26:00

This win really highlights how well we coulda done this year. Hopefully next year we can take it to the next level and go for Europa again.
Report Abuse
04/05/2010 16:48:00

Good call there IAR, it is mainly the away form we need to sort as it has been shocking hasn't it?!
Mikey Delap
Report Abuse
05/05/2010 15:34:00

Yep it has - considering our home form has been excellent!
Report Abuse
06/05/2010 18:29:00


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